Farm Happenings at House in the Woods Farm
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Farm Happening for July 13 week

Posted on July 13th, 2020 by Ilene Freedman

ADMIN ABOUT FARM STAND: Take note, many of you are signed up for Farm Stand notifications. FYI, a Farm Stand Email will be sent on Tuesday. Be sure NOT to confuse your CSA emails with Farm Stand emails--you DO NOT want to customize a Farm Stand order; it is not your CSA share. 

WHAT'S FARM STAND? Farm Stand is Harvie's online ordering system which we use to sell extra shares when we have surplus produce (we offer you extras with your CSA Extras, not via Farm Stand). Our CSA is sold out, so this is a great way to sell extras week by week. It helps introduce new people to the CSA who might join next year. Share with your friends! Here is the link:


TOMATOES! We’ve been waiting patiently...It’s our first week of harvesting tomatoes! This is a pretty normal time to expect tomatoes to start ripening in Maryland. However, we are used to harvesting tomatoes weeks earlier than this, as we grow ours in the hoophouse. So, why the delay? Do you remember the deep freeze we got Mother’s Day weekend? Somehow it got into our hoophouse and damaged month old tomatoes planted in the ground in the hoophouse. We are resilient...we grabbed trays of extra seedlings from our tables and replanted over 350 plants. This delay will affect our wholesale tomato sales, where being first matters. But our farm share/CSA customers get tomatoes whenever they come in. This is the beauty and strength in the CSA model for farmers, so we thank you for your support of the whole season! The month of May continued to be cold, also slowing things down. But the spring greens loved that weather! Diversified plantings are fun like that. Weather can challenge one crop but help another.

House in the Woods Farm is well known locally for our heirloom tomatoes.  We also grow a couple nice hybrid varieties for a red slicer. Your boxes will contain a mix of them. We have been selling tomatoes and garden plants at The Common Market for many years. We are starting with Persimmon variety and probably some Cherokee Purples. There is a poster on the wall in the Veggie Shed with descriptions of heirloom varieties.


I used to write a column in the Frederick News Post. This one gives a bit of history about heirloom and hybrid tomatoes and the difference. Read it here.


Heirloom tomatoes are delicate and need care during transport. Treat them like a carton of eggs; don’t pack heavy items on top of them in your bag. We pack our tomatoes in plastic boxes to distribute them evenly and minimize handling. Please do not open boxes and switch anything around. We can re-use tomato boxes if they are returned clean and dry. 


It is our intention to have a box of tomatoes for each share who wants one, so message me if you aren’t able to get one in your share. We will have one for you. We cannot promise doubling tomatoes for this week, but more are coming. Soon we will sell tomato boxes and flats as Extras, so watch for our offers in the next few weeks. 

Growing your own tomatoes? If you don’t need tomatoes in your share, you might want to change your preferences to 1 for tomatoes when you start harvesting your own tomatoes, so that they won’t show up in your share. Although, yes, you can always swap them out during customization. You can swap them in as well, for a maximum of 2 per share. Additional tomatoes can be ordered as extras.


My favorite way to enjoy my first tomatoes: sandwiches feature fresh tomatoes the best! Try pesto and tomato, BLT, turkey and tomato, grilled squash and tomato, grilled cheese and tomato. Or your favorite creation! Enjoy your first tomatoes fresh. Saucing is for later! 


The beautiful eggplant are here! We grow Italian eggplants (the big ones) and Asian varieties (long and skinny). You will have weeks to explore eggplant dishes. I love eggplant slices marinated in olive oil and spices, then grilled. Babaganouj is a delicious dip, like hummus with roasted eggplant instead of chickpeas. Delicious on top of a fresh tomato slice. I use a recipe from the original Moosewood Cookbook. I found someone’s blog that includes a photo from the cookbook, so you can see the recipe here.